A number of researches have focused on the usability aspect of groupware in supporting collaborative work. Unfortunately, our understandings on their impact on supporting collaborative learning are still limited due to a lack of attention on this issue. Furthermore, the majority of educators and designers in CSCL expect that interactions and collaborations would come naturally, as a result, we are too busy with how versatile the tools in educational groupware systems shall have in order to provide a wide variety of interaction opportunities for both learners and educators, and largely ignore whether or not these features are valuable from learners’ as well as educators’ perspective. To bridge this gap, in this paper, we describe our experiences with loosely-coupled collaborative software called GroupScribbles, in its potential of supporting cooperation and coordination among learners as well as its failures. Our study suggests that it is not the versatility of the tools in these educational groupware systems, but how they can provide a seamless and focused distributed learning environment determines the overall pedagogical appropriateness of the software in CSCL. That is, the learning environment, although distributed, and fragmented, should be capable of sticking learners, their activities and meta-cognitive problem solving skills cohesively so as to continuously construct a relatively compact learning space where coordination and collaborations can be made cheap, lightweight, effective and efficient.
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- A Study of a Loosely-Coupled Groupware System for Supporting Collaboration and Coordination
Tiffany Y. Tang
Hareton K. N. Leung
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg